Our finance minister is used to sending out head-turning messages from his Twitter account. But, on Monday evening, Tito Mboweni seems to have had a very frank change of heart about the future of Lesotho.
The Mountain Kingdom is going through political turmoil at the moment, after their president was formally accused of playing a role in the murder of his ex-wife. The chaos comes at a time where the nation needs a united front to battle the scourge of coronavirus, and it has led to some people thinking Lesotho is set to give up its sovereignty.
Tito Mboweni defends Lesotho's independence
This isn't the case, though. Tito Mboweni has emphatically dismissed claims that a leadership vacuum in the enclaved country will lead to its loss of independence. There are no plans for South Africa to adopt Lesotho as a 'tenth province', as the ANC stalwart Tweeted his latest take on the matter.
"Why are some people confused about political developments in Lesotho?. These developments have nothing to do with incorporating Lesotho into South Africa: God forbid. It is an independent sovereign state. I will always defend Lesotho's independence. The place is home to me."Tito Mboweni, May 2020
Changing tact on the 'tenth province' debate
However, this is in stark contrast to what he believed earlier this year. Posting on his account in January, Tito Mboweni explained that the political situation in the Kingdom of Mountains had become 'too volatile' for any international body to try and solve. He wanted the border between SA and Lesotho – which covers the provinces of KZN, Free State and Eastern Cape – to be removed completely.
"Those who think that SADC or some political internal goodwill will solve this crisis don't understand both the political economy of the Lesotho State or the political economy of Lesotho society. The solution is [to create] Southern Africa: Remove the border!"Tito Mboweni, January 2020
Lesotho latest news and updates – Thabane is stepping down
Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane addressed his Ha Abia constituency on Monday 18 May and revealed he would be stepping down as Prime Minister – but not as leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party. Lesotho's Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader Motlalentoa Letsosa confirmed the nomination of Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro as the new prime minister had been put to the national council.
Thabane's position was thrown into doubt when he was accused of playing a role in the murder of his ex-wife with Police indicating that they intended to charge the ABC Party leader as an accomplice. The Lesotho statesman's current wife Maesaiah Thabane has been charged with murder with police asserting that she hired assassins to murder Lipolelo Thabane. The outgoing PM denies any wrongdoing.